Portofino South 3800

A personal blog for news about our condominium and our neighborhood

Condo Board Meeting- April 18th

Board Meeting of April 18, 2017

All board members attended but L.B and PK

This meeting was to count the proxies on whether the condo owners accepted the new docs and rules or not.

Frank (by himself) counted the proxies.

There were 27 people that attended the meeting. Many more than usual.

There were 94 yeas’ and 6 no’s

So the docs were passed.

 

Amendments are possible in the future.

 

Insurance for the Building

We will remain with American Coastal as it is an admitted Florida Insurer and if a catastrophe happens each apt is insured up to $100,000.

Another company was visited but it was a surplus line carrier and did not have the guarantees that Am Coastal has.

This was per Frank.

 

 

 

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Portofino South February 2017 Board Meeting

President PK welcomed all condo owners in the audience and welcomed their ideas  and wanted

To keep the communication open.

 

She welcomed LB as a new board member and who will head the communication officer- she spoke at the end of the meeting and said she was planning on producing a monthly news letter and she had 90 email addresses to send it to. (in the past I thought we were not allowed to publish condo owners telephone numbers but email addresses are okay?)

 

Secretary GD said all accounts are current

BG asked if he was using the reserve funds which she thought needed a vote but he said he was only using them for the projects they were put away for and that did not need a vote.

 

He emphasized that maintenance has stayed the same for 5 years except the extra $2 for Comcast increase.

 

Ihor from the audience asked about the new structures on the roof of the condo to our south and Frank answered that they were the three other companies that were not on our roof. We have AT&T and earn $26,000.

 

Manager’s Report:

Frank gave the board estimates for the paving and drainage of the parking lots there are two contracts and he encourage that the board should sign one asap in order to get the project going May 1.

Mangroves near the edge of our property should be trimmed and cleaned out. He said that during the last demonstration lots of garbage collected there. He also advised there were some bald spots and we should fill in. LB asked if there was proper signage there so people are aware it was private property?

Frank said there was. But emphasized they should be trimmed which needs to have a federal permit. LB said maybe we should delay as there might be a new descision about the redo of the Southern bridge.

The initial cutting will be $3500 and then $800 each quarter. This is not in the budget and does not have to be done right away. (I went to see the area today and there is garbage there but it is not new garbage from protesters but mainly plastic bags from the water and boats. Also the next door Yaught Club has cut theirs down like a hedge and it looks good. But the empty spaces are good as there is less trash in those areas. Also we do not have proper signage in the grass area there and the no trespassing sign on the gate to the dock is all faded away)

Back to the parking lots. There might be as many as 10 contractors involved in the project. Frank said we should get a contract manager or an oversearer as the engineer that we are paying will not supervise the job. Our engineer lives in the building and is being paid. The project will take approximately 5 months. The lots have to be brought up to current city code.

The Decorating Committee By GC

There was a new bar in the room and said that it could go back if people did not like the committee’s choice. But the next morning a condo owner that does a lot of the parties in that room did not think it functioned but was told we own it, priced at $1299. New sconces and a fresh coat of paint (donated by Doug) as someone did not like the light blue. It is now beige.

GC showed pictures of new ceiling tiles for the hallways and lights. The price for the light were $109 . But the other prices he was not very clear about so it was tabled. So one suggested getting rid of the tile areas in front of the elevators. (when Comcast recently came to fix my cable he had to trace my cable out of my apt through the hall ceiling in front of the elevators. It was easy as he could mob=ve the tiles off the grid but they should be careful to make it harder to get up there for Comcast, Plumbers, and maybe fire)

Orientation:

They interviewed I renter in 1002, one guest in 601, and 304 a renter.

Social Committee:

No report

Guest to the Meeting: Andrew Wilson of Epic Wireless

He spoke about bringing our own fiber optics to the building. He is a reseller of cable. But the board asked him to just estimate to bring wi fi to the common area only.

(We do not know how many people in the condo have internet service and who uses Comcast or AT&T. But I know that Comcast is interested in trying to get the exclusive for our building and with that they will throw in free wi fi for public areas) I gave the person Franks email.

LB has said she will do a newsletter for the building and it will come out monthly.

note: the words and thoughts between parentheses are those of my opinion 

 

PS Condo Meeting on January 17th 2017

– January 17th 2017

(Please forgive me for missing info as it is now very hard to hear in the new card room and the microphone is old)

All Board Members were present and the new board member Lucia Bonavita joined for the first time.

PK made an announcement that the November meeting minutes were not ready and also the December meetings minutes. (you can view both on this blog)

PK introduced herself and made a speech about her thoughts for her new presidency and how she would like to run things.

She announced that there will be basically only two committees: decoration and orientation.

GD- Treasury Report

We are $80,000 over last year but that includes the repair of the pool and card room that came out of operating moneys.

There are no delinquent accounts

From the audience, a question was asked by PR about the budget. He mentioned that there was a line item of a raise to the doorman and he had asked a few of the doorman and they had not been given raises. GD and Frank answered that raises are usually given on the anniversary of the person started working here and then the raises are given- PR reiterated that their salaries are very low and might leave before they get raises.

BG wanted to qualify when the audience can ask questions- PK said that the condo owners can ask questions or comments before the board votes on an issue. But only on agenda issues on that particular meeting.

Some discussion about The Sunshine Law about what the owners could discuss…did not hear also about a quorum which I also did not hear.

Frank said we used to have an open forum at the beginning of the meeting where owners could talk about different subjects. ( I think we should be able to speak before the meeting and during the meeting. This is our building!)

The Manager’s Report

The paving will start May 1 and the office has started calling people that do not stay here during the summer what their plans are for their cars.

The Cooling Tower:

Frank wanted to buy the tower which takes about 7 to 8 weeks to be delivered. We would purchase it ourselves at the cost of $83,000.00 and then bid out the companies that were going to install it. It seems that the architects /engineers/ contractors do not supervise the work. The installation should be about $120,000.00. He wanted to start this project this March but the board voted to start it next January 2018. The money will come from the loan that we took out. The majority of the board was not comfortable with buying the cooling tower and voted not to do it. Motion defeated. BG was the only vote opposing the board.

There is some new code that the fire dept wants to implement and have approached a list of 13 WPB condos. But what they are demanding would be incredibly expensive for old buildings to do so there is a lobbyist being hired to fight this in Tallahassee and the board voted to join the group and pay Poliakoff law firm up to $5000 to fight this new code. We were contacted by the Rapallo about this issue who saw our name on the list. The office said they never received the first notice. I think the lobbyist mentioned was named Donna Berger.

The window and door change:

Frank said that he received 20 inquiries that they would like to change their windows. ( See other post on the windows)

Our new Rule Documents will be ready soon for the condo owners to look at and read. They will have to sign an affidavit when they get the documents and if they are not in residence they will send the paper work by certified mail. There will be a meeting on Feb 13th with the building’s attorneys to answer any questions about the new rules.

Dock Key- new one is available at the office for anyone that wants one.

Orientation Committee- By M.D.

One new owner in 808, I renter in 203 and a boarder???

 

 

 

 

 

An Article from Becker and Poliakoff

7 Year Rule Does Not Apply To All Condo Records

Posted in Official Records, Operations
Question: I recently contacted my condominium association asking to review various records since I have some serious questions about how things are being done. I asked to see all the election documents and was told the management company only had last year’s results. I thought records had to be kept for 7 years? (C.O. by e-mail)

Answer: Section 718.111(12) of the Florida Condominium Act generally requires an association to keep official records at least 7 years and to make such records available to the unit owners for their inspection within five working days of a written request. However, as with most rules, there are exceptions. Specifically, the law states that, “ballots, sign-in sheets, voting proxies, and all other papers relating to voting by unit owners must be maintained for 1 year from the date of the election, vote, or meeting to which the document relates.”

The other exception to the 7 year rule is board member certifications which must be kept for 5 years from election or for the duration of the director’s uninterrupted service, whichever is longer.

May 3 2016-Manager’s Meeting, Portofino South

Discussed:

Background checks for residents

Background checks are performed for all new residents. However, the association does not deny anyone on the basis of having a criminal record. The association’s next condo legal documents will have a provision that ownership can be denied to anyone with a felony within the last ten years.

Assessment

There will probably be a special assessment for owners, but the amount and date have not been decided.

Work on roof

Concrete restoration will take place on the roof next week.

New entrance

A new pedestrian entry gate to S. Flagler is being prepared.

Complaints about service animals and swimmers

Residents complained of wetness and feces in elevators from dogs and swimmers. The office will send a letter reminding residents to please stay dry in the elevators and use the service elevator if possible.

Pet regulations under the next condo legal documents

The next condo legal documents will make Portofino South a “pet-friendly” building. The association can then set rules about where pets can enter and exit the building and which elevators they can use. One cat or one dog will be allowed per unit. Service and emotional support animals regulations will not be affected.

Next condo legal documents approval

Board member GD thinks our new legal documents cannot be put to a vote by owners until November due to many people leaving for the summer.

Blog mentioned

This blog was mentioned by GD as “detrimental” to unit property values. Several people wanted the blog removed and several people had never visited the blog and wanted the web address for it. The blog’s most popular post appears to be “The Miramar”  my investigation of the history of the hotel that was here before the condominium was built.

Condo Board Meeting February 16, 2016

card room, Portofino South, West Palm Beach

All board members in attendance except KG and HM on the telephone.

Martha commented that those who missed the Valentine Party missed a great party.

Financial repo­­rt

Manager’s report – Security Cameras, Pool, Parking Lot Repavement

New parking lot security cameras and lights are installed and working.

The pool will be ready by this Monday, February 22, or Tuesday, Feb 23.

They found three unexpected layers of tile and many more leaks than they thought. Five leaks were found in the existing gutters.

When it is done it will take 1 day to fill. We were probably losing 2 to 3 inches of water a day.

Gregg figured that was costing us $8000 to $12,000 a year

Parking lot repaving is next on the to-do list, with the contractor in the planning stages. No estimated time frame was given for start of on-site work.

We might have to change parking plan to adhere to current code, adding disabled parking on this side of the lots. Need a planner to design the area?

Pool Activities Committee report

KC, co-chair of the Pool Activities Committee, reported.

They met the Sunday before the condo meeting. 2 board members attended and 4 owners. Her co-chair suggested extending the pool hours so people that work can enjoy the pool. They suggested 9:00pm instead of 8:00pm which is the current close time.

She also brought up that some owners were complaining about the noise from a swimming instructor during her lessons with two children from the building.  HM commented that she thought we were being too strict about children’s noise. I think the committee was not targeting the children but the instructor. BG brought up the insurance liability of the instructor, and GD and Frank said that was not an issue as they had spoken to a lawyer about this situation.

BG indicated she had not known about this discussion with the lawyer and has many times not been kept abreast of important decisions or private discussions of other board members and management, and that all members of the board should be informed about all conversations and decisions relevant to the board. Another board member said that Frank should be consulted to find out all current positions as he is the “repository of information” for the board.

They suggested more lighting especially near the porch stairs leading to the pool deck from the building.

VR reported a renter was sitting on the porch chairs moved down to the pool deck, but the board did not think that was against any laws.

Decorating Committee

GD mentioned there was a decorating committee which had met twice. One of the areas of discussion of this committee is the hall lights.

Vote to Extend Pool Hours and to Research Additional Pool Lighting

The lighting of the pool was spoken about. It should be increased if we are extending the hours of the pool.

Frank had suggested a plan and a price he was quoted of $7500, but an owner from the audience said she had just had something similar done at her house and she had a much better price.

The board voted to extend the hours of the pool and the barbecue to 9:30pm, but only if the lights were addressed for safety. Flood light placement was discussed. Concerns were that new light poles would make the pool area look like a Publix parking lot, and that lights must be positioned so that they do not glare in to second and third story units. The manager urged caution in the vote, as the office would be the ones receiving noise complaints if leaving the pool area open longer would lead to noise later at night.

Frank mentioned residents are not allowed in the pool after dark, even though the stated pool closing time has been 8:00pm. This was disputed, as some board members believed pool use was allowed until the closing time.

Legislation that might Affect Portofino

HM suggested that the board or the condo’s legal staff look at Florida Legislature House Bill # 1357, even though it is currently directed at buildings of 500 units or more.

Sauna and Meeting Adjournment

The Board never asked for any questions from the audience.

An owner asked to have the issue of the damaged sauna added to the next board meeting’s agenda, and was told that he had to speak to Frank for possible inclusion.

 

Just My Opinion

-Portofino South, West Palm Beach

I am sure the board and some owners will be very unhappy about my opinions below but we are not invited to speak at the meetings so as owners and the people that elected this board we have no outlet to question any of their decisions. The building has a new website and that was not even discussed at the meeting. Those meetings just make people mad and frustrated so very few people attend. Bravo to Betsy for questioning some things.

The Pool

Yes, it was only supposed to take 5 working days but as Frank explained last night at the board meeting they found multiple problems thus the longer time. Since the pool is part of the original structure of the hotel, of course, there would be multiple problems. Since a lot of said problems were in the over flow part when whatever company estimated the job did not they investigate this. Also this company seems like a band of loose people. Where is the supervisor, uniforms, company trucks? And why are we allowing them to park their personal vehicles in non-parking spots. They leave the pool each night like a garbage heap. There are of course overages in costs. Each project that the building tackles there is a complication. The roof and the repaying of the parking lots are next. What company fixed our pool? Does anyone know?

(yes someone knows and the company is Skyler Pools and it does not have a good report on www.ripoffreport.com. Same issue of taking forever to fix or build a pool.) Ever hear of google before you employ someone? Also checked www.Yelp.com  in Coconut Creek and there were two similar complaints about time and issues never resolved. These two users are thinking of suing this pool company.

Illegal rentals and boarders.

Apt 808 has just been redone and is not waiting the two-year rule to rent it. He has had two different ” guests” that have signed in for three days each. When I have guests they usually stay with their hosts? These owners started the same way with apt 903 and continued to get away with it …not obeying the rules. Do we still have an apt with a boarder? It has been discussed at board meetings but I do not think it has been dealt with.

Our entrance looks very bare

The white boxes have been taken away. I cannot believe that we cannot find a plant species that will grow in that spot, what about all these gorgeous lush PB gardens on the beach that populate the island. If all else fails there are some fabulous fake trees or plants that would give the area a little pizazz. Also the hedge at the northern front end of the parking lot has to be replaced, it has been dying for months.

There is a new decorating committee

Announced at the meeting. who is on it? Someone I know in the building was asked

Led to believe she was on it and then called and told the committee was full. Such community well feeling in this building… it always amazes me.

I do not know why the building refuses to have a fire drill

We had last week another stove fire which turned out to be no flames but a lot of smoke.

It was started by a guest but the doorman had no telephone number for her as she never registered as a guest. The guest did the wrong thing by opening the front door so the smoke went into the hall. Some apts on the 9th floor were alerted that there was a fire and we should leave our apts and walk down the stairs. One couple on the floor did not know where the stairs were. People came up from the lobby via the elevator to help and see what was going on. I thought you were not supposed to use the elevators during a fire? At least 10 people called the doorman to ask if they should evacuate. The door man was very calm and tried to do his best but did not know that he could get on the intercom and tell all the apts that the fire was not serious and they did not have to walk down the stairs. I walked down 9 floors!

Don’t you think it would be a good thing to educate us condo owners how to conduct ourselves during a fire? It was chaos on the floor.

Notices near the mailboxes

For notices such as meeting announcements and board meeting agenda: The font is too small and too high up for people to read.

I also feel having a locked bulletin board isn’t very democratic. I wanted to post something and it was rejected by the office as it was advertising a service.

Lets start to think Smart and Green and Forward.

How about solar lights in the parking lot and the perimeter?

How about a green roof? There are builders in WPB that are installing these and since we have to redo our roof why not look into it?

When doing the parking area over how about a few outlets for electric cars?

Construction During Season:

Since there are new rules but they have not been given out construction goes on during PB high season. The window replacements in # 1102 started at 8:30am one morning last week. I went to the office and Frank spoke to them too late I was up, I went up as my terrace was full of pieces of cement and of course rudely spoken to by the installers. I also noticed that they were using the electricity from a hallway outlet, we are paying for that, down to Frank and he allowed them to continue. I believe that we should not have any noisy construction during season and someone has to monitor it closely. Glass fell on my downstairs neighbor’s terrace. I suggested to Frank that the contractor should be billed for clean-up and if there is no electricity bring a generator. Even though the windows are done all the sawing for the interior of the apt is done on the terrace and it continues. I think we are in the 4th or 5th week of construction noise.

Yesterday on the ninth floor there were white footsteps on the carpet coming from construction in #904. Also the workmen used our laundry sink to wash out their tools or brushes. Do I want to put my clothes in this sink to perhaps prewash?

Wouldn’t it be a good idea for Frank before he ­leaves to check if all this construction isn’t migrating to other areas.

Suggestion:

Notices for meetings could be printed in a larger font and placed lower so we might be able to read them. Also, if someone volunteers to chair a meeting there should be some respect from the board during said meeting. I have been on three committees: one I was fired from, second one I worked with a partner to gather a lot of info and it was ignored and the last one I was told it was asked to leave as it was just for board members despite non board members were present.

I get the hint no more meetings for me !!

Your old Toilet

The state of Florida will give you a $120 rebate if you want to replace your old one for a newer model. The newer toilets use a lot less water and they are trying to save water. The rebate is part of the Water Smart Program.

The above is just my opinion and written to start a dialogue. Please leave comments and give at least a partial name to identify yourself.